Silva, who took over from Sam Allardyce in May, will lead out the Blues at Goodison Park tomorrow against a Saints side that narrowly survived relegation last season — by one place and one point.
While Silva is eager to get his Goodison career underway, he stressed the importance of the backing from the home crowd. Speaking at his press conference earlier today, he said:
“[I am] looking forward [to tomorrow]; it will be very good, for sure. Of course, we have to give our fans something special as well but for me, it will be very important [to have their support].
“They will be behind us every time, they will support our players because they are showing every time they deserve this support and with them behind us, we’ll be stronger for sure.”
Southampton were Everton’s final home opponents last season and, in dire need of points to stave off the drop, held on to their 1-0 lead stoically until a 96th-minute deflected Tom Davies equaliser.
While the price of defeat tomorrow would not be quite so fatal, Silva is expecting another strong defensive performance from Mark Hughes’ men, and is aware of the quality their squad possesses. He added:
“For sure, it will be a tough game. We are playing against a strong side, experienced players as well in the Premier League.
“They play with the same formation that Wolves played against us; five at the back. It’s up to us to work well, to play fast, to try to disorganise them to create enough chances to score.
“It’s something Mark [Hughes] likes to have in his squad, a strong defensive organisation, to try to keep the five players in his back line. You have to work to try to disorganise them; of course we have to be patient as well, try to play fast but don’t lose our organisation, never lose our balance as well.”